A respected dentist who treated patients in Cumbria for decades has died in a motorbike crash in Canada.

Paul Knight, from Wigton, was fatally injured in a collision in the British Columbia region on Saturday.

His wife Michelle was also involved in the collision and sustained a number of serious injuries.

She was due to have surgery yesterday and her condition was described as “stable”.

A family statement released to the News & Star read: “We are sad to announce the tragic death of Paul Knight of Wigton in a motorcycle accident in British Columbia, Canada, this weekend.

"His wife Michelle sustained multiple injuries and is undergoing surgery in Kelowna. Members of both families are expected to fly out imminently.”

Mr Knight, 64, leaves behind two sons and one daughter as well as two grandchildren.

Tributes have been paid to Mr Knight, who was well known in the town and beyond.

A spokesman for the staff at his dental surgery in High Street, Wigton, said: “Paul was an exceptional clinician, employer and friend.

“He will be missed immensely by both us, his work colleagues, and many people in the area.

“Our thoughts at this time are with his wife and family.”

He was a former member of Wigton Rotary Club and served as the organisation’s president in the past.

Len Baseley, a current member and last year’s president, also paid tribute and said there had been lots of well wishes from people in Wigton towards Mr Knight’s family.

“He was a good Rotarian, a really good Rotarian and was always getting involved in things,” Mr Baseley said.

“He will be a huge miss in the town.”

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are still investigating the circumstances of the crash but say it involved three vehicles and happened on Highway 97, south of a small town call Oliver.

A spokesman for the police force said officers believe “that a northbound vehicle crossed the centre line, side-swiped a northbound vehicle and then collided head-on with a southbound motorcycle with two occupants”.

He added: “The male driver and female passenger of the motorcycle were both rushed to hospital.

“The driver of the motorcycle succumbed to his injuries in hospital and the female passenger remains in hospital.

“South Okanagan Traffic Services, the British Columbia Coroner’s Service and the South East District Collision Analysis and Reconstruction Service are continuing their investigation.”

The other drivers involved sustained injuries that were described as minor.

A spokesperson for the Foreign & Commonwealth Office said: “Foreign Office staff are supporting the family of a British man following his death in Canada, and will continue to do so at this difficult time."